Sunday, July 24, 2011

Amateur Upholstery Hour: Small Progress

Wondering about this old sofa?  Yeah.  Progress is stalled. 

We've had some unexpected expenses this summer.  My car finally went to the great big Volvo junkyard in the sky.  "Fabric buying budget" is now replaced by "car payment."  No fun.  Anyway, we did pick out the fabric we are going to use, but it is much more expensive than I originally imagined we'd spend.  So we are currently saving up for the big purchase.  I bought one yard to test it out.   It's beautiful.  All those medallions are woven (embroidered?) and the fabric is very heavy duty.  It's super nice upholstery fabric.  It's much more contemporary than I envisioned at the start, but I think we'll be happy with it for a long time.  Those star bursts are reminiscent of mid-century design, don't you think?

In the meantime, I have taken apart the the cushions and made paper patterns from the pieces.  I am going to sew up some inner cushion covers from muslin.  The feather cushions don't have an inner cover and all the raw edges are on the outside and fraying.  I figure an inner cover will help with longevity.  And it will give me an exact number for yardage to buy.  Up until this point we've been estimating.


Now for a pattern matching question.  How concerned should I be about matching the medallions around the edges of the cushions?  I'm going to use a solid cream color fabric for the cording.  I'm concerned that seeing little bits of medallions on the cording will look strange.  I know that I can match up the front edges of the cushions to the top no problem, but matching up the sides and bottom will be difficult.  Is it a big deal to make sure everything matches up?  Is is even possible to match all sides of a box cushion?  Does it matter if the medallions are matched up if there is a solid piece of cording breaking up the pattern anyway?   Just curious what you think.

So I know the initial date of completion was the end of this summer.  I think now I'm going to claim it will be done by Christmas ;)
I think we can handle that.  


  1. That fabric is awesome, the couch will look amazing when it's finished!

  2. That fabric is gorgeous! I think if there is cording in between, I wouldn't worry too much about pattern matching. I especially wouldn't worry about it if the fabric is expensive, since you'd need even more fabric in order to cut matching pieces. :]

  3. Really great fabric! I'm sure you're anxious to get the project completed, but in the long run, you'll probably get better results because of the time you're taking, carefully planning. As for the pattern matching, I don't think you need to match them exactly, especially with cording. Maybe try to just keep things straight in terms of vertical rows.

  4. I'm on the same page as the others. No need for pattern matching, at least on the small sides. A matching top and bottom cushion would look great. The fabric is beautiful, yes, it has a retro vibe but still looks contemporary. Also, though it may be painfully expensive, I think it's the right decission to go for a fabric that feels right instead of a compromise that might not make you happy on the long run.

  5. It does have kind of a Marimekko feel to it, Valerie. That's about the right era, too.

    I'm glad you all are not worried about matching too much. I was leaning that way since there is only a little bit of the front cushions that show anyway. I think I'm going to cut all the tops (bottom cushions) and fronts (seat back cushions) so that the medallions flow together like they do on the fabric. I'll just be careful to keep those faces straight and even.

  6. I would either, not worry about matching at all, or I would consider taking that sage color (I think its sage) and using that for the sides, with the cream piping as a break between the two fabrics. I sometimes feel like such a large pattern is more effective when you break it up a bit. And it might save a bit of money!
    Whatever you do, I can't wait to see how it comes out, its gonna look fantastic!

  7. Like the others I wouldn't worry much about matching,although I also like Miq's idea of a solid colour side. I know how you feel about the unexpected expenses, too (ugh!) This will look great, and you will get there someday... and have a piece you'll be happy with for decades!

  8. Wow, I love this fabric you have chosen! The couch is going to be magnificent! Can you get the fabric store to set aside the fabric you need so they don't sell it all?

  9. I didn't think about the store running out, Carolyn. It's a re-orderable fabric right now but I'm not sure how long.... I'll have to check that out. That would be terrible!